British Airways will power some of its jets with trash

Timothy J. Seppala
British Airways will power some of its jets with trash

British Airways is taking a cue from Doc Brown for how it'll fuel its next generation of aircraft. No, not by bolting a flux capacitor inside the cockpit, but by turning to garbage for fuel. The airline has announced a partnership with renewable fuels outfit Velocys in an effort to reduce emissions as much as 50 percent by 2050, with plans to slowly introduce the alternative fuel over the next ten years and drop greenhouse gases by over 60 percent.

The hope is that the forthcoming waste conversion plants will produce enough fuel to power all of the carrier's 787 Dreamliner flights from London to San Jose and New Orleans for a year. Probably not those specific flights, of course, but a number of flights equal to those routes.

We've already seen how scientists have used grass clippings to produce small quantities of decane -- a main ingredient in jet fuel and gasoline -- so this isn't exactly far fetched. We do (sort of) have hoverboards, self-lacing Nikes and Biff Tannen as president, so maybe Back to the Future was on to something after all.

British AIrways